The rain has come this year. I say that because the last couple of years, we haven't had much and the summers have been incredibly hot. This year however, the summer has returned to a more mild heat, and the skies have opened. There are puddles outside, it showers in the afternoon and the grass is starting to grow a little bit too high. I find rain so creatively inspiring. I find cloudy days, the mist hanging over the mountain, the vivid shades of green leaves and the jewel-like sparkles of rain drops clinging onto petals all so very refreshing. Everything seems to be washed clean and the world seems like a better place. It's like nature breathes a sigh of relief. The rain has come, life springs forth. Plants grow. Animals thrive. The land drinks it's fill.
As much as I love natural light, the gloomy overcast shades of the sky outside fill me with gladness. It's so cozy inside and I love being able to spend hours dreaming, designing and making new things.
Last year, I completed my first ever quilt and for 2017, I hope to make a quilt for myself. Doing a bit of patchwork relaxes me and I find it therapeutic. I've made the first block for my quilt, which is made up of nine smaller blocks. I decided I will work it this way - I want a print heavy, jumbled quilt with lots of interesting details and my favourite fabrics. I love all sorts of colours, pastels, brights, bolds and I usually favour quilts with a lot of low volume fabric mixed in. But this quilt is a bit moodier, a bit more reminiscent of winter than summer - at least it is so far.
This quilt will be an adventure in itself - I don't have a plan. That went out the window when I had a nice stack of square blocks and I turned one on it's side and decided I liked the diagonal shape...so promptly lopped off the fabric to make it happen. I took all the smaller pieces created from doing this and turned them into smaller squares, which felt kind of good because I wasn't wasting the scraps. I've decide I will mix some embroidery into this quilt and include quirky details. I couldn't wait to get started, so made up a large block with the nine smaller blocks I had already created. It's probably the size of a mini quilt.
I'm going to leave it at that size, so that when I have made other blocks, I can still mix and match the arrangement to a certain degree. As far as colour arrangement goes, I have one little rule - I'm making sure each square in itself is what I consider to be a good arrangement of colours and prints. As far as fabric selection goes, I just hauled all my favourites off the shelf and began cutting and mixing them up. I'm not a stand there and cut out all the blocks at once patch worker, I literally need to get stuck into the making part. The cutting of many squares has long put me off until one day, I got a bit smart and decided I don't have to do that...I can just cut out what I want and actually start sewing! So I did.
Another of my latest makes is a purse, that I made as a gift. The recipient was in need of a new one so I surprised her with this fun, colorful version, which thankfully, she loved. I haven't made a bag or a purse for quite a long time and decided to just create the pattern myself. I was quite stoked at how well it turned out.
You know when you have made something before and you never felt like you did the best job at it?
Then, years later, you make one again and it turns out better than you thought, because in your mind, you remember the last one you made?
Well that was what happened with this purse. The last time I made a few, I had a lot of trouble getting it dead straight and perfect. I did use a different pattern then, but I think I just didn't realize how much my sewing skills had advanced since that time, as it was quite a few years ago now that I last made them.
I think the secret is that I am now a lot more patient than I ever used to be.
I'm also surprised that when I have created patterns recently, I have little to have to fix and redo. The more experienced me takes her time and also, remembers to add in adequate seam allowances.
My luck has been so good lately...I am awaiting an epic sewing/designing/pattern making disaster...
it's only a matter of time, right?
Now, time for the very first Here & Now for 2017!
Loving // That I finished my new website today...big to-do item check off the list!
Eating // Mango, a lovely summer fruit!
Drinking // Coffee, made at home, using locally produced stuff!
Feeling // Creatively Content
Making // At the moment, I have crochet squares, quilt blocks and a new pattern on the go!
Wearing // Anything cool and comfortable
Thinking // This blog post turned out wayyy longer than I intended
Dreaming // All the things I want to make this year
What is happening in your Here & Now?
Here & Now is inspired by Sarah of the Say! Little Hen blog. Join in with your blog! Share your Here & Now link over on Sarah's blog :-) Sarah has also introduced an INSTAGRAM Here & Now Link up this month for those who prefer it!